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The Bleacher Bums: June 21, 2007 Archive

Reusse's Wrong: Twins can't trade Hunter...now...

Posted at 10:06 AM on June 21, 2007 by David Zingler

Patrick Reusse is probably the best sports columnist in town, but his assertion in today’s Strib that the Twins should trade Torii Hunter is way off. As difficult as the Twins have to been to watch at times this season, they are two games above .500 and only 5 1/2 out of first place.

It makes no sense to deal one of the most important players on the team right now. True, Hunter will likely command more on the open market than the Twins will chose to afford this winter, but as long as they are in the race, they have to keep the charismatic centerfielder.

Imagine if the popular Hunter were traded today. The middle of the Twins line-up would have a huge hole, one of the most important positions on the field would by in flux, the clubhouse would be in turmoil and the fans would mutiny. Basically, the season would end on summer solstice. There’s just no reason for that.

On the other hand, if the Twins are 10 games out on July 31, Terry Ryan should start listening to offers, but, I doubt it will come to that. For now, I am going to sit back and enjoy the summer and hope the Twins heat up...

Dueling allegiances

Posted at 10:38 PM on June 21, 2007 by Chris Dall

With the Twins playing my beloved NY Metropolitans, I've had to refrain from entries for the last few days, since it was clear my rooting interests were not with the local nine. But now that it's over, I will say that the Twins acquitted themselves quite nicely in New York, playing a much better version of National League ball than the Mets currently are capable of. Honestly, I could take being shut down by Santana. That was expected. But being held to two runs by Scott Baker was an embarrasment.

The Mets have now lost 12 of their last 15 games, and have quickly gone from being the toast of New York to the target of its wrath. Newsday columnist Wallace Shawn, who I'm pretty sure has never written anything nice about anyone, wrote a column praising Minnesota's small-market success, as compared to the free-spending, underachieving Mets. Shawn's point is well taken, but perhaps he missed the story about Carl Pohlad buying a local radio station for $28 million.

Which brings me to my next point regarding Torii Hunter. I agree with David that trying to move Torii now would be absolutely disastrous, not only on the field but in the stands. And even though it might not be prudent to give Torii what he'll be asking for, I say do it. And while they're at it, they can also pony up the money for Morneau and Santana. Heck, maybe even shell out the cash for Mark Buerhle when he becomes a free agent.

This may be a typical large-market, free-spending mentality, and one could argue that the Twins shouldn't veer from what has been a successful strategy, but this team could be very special if its main pieces are kept together, and some other pieces are added. I know the Twins are a small-market team, but Carl clearly has the money, and I think it would be nice if he left us with a team that could win not just one, but several championships.

Or, we could just let Torii walk at the end of the season. Apparently, he wouldn't mind playing in Yankee Stadium.

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